Black Friday has evolved into one of the most important days of the year for retailers. In 2019, total spending equated to an astonishing £8.6bn during the period in the UK alone. Even last year, amid a pandemic, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were still some of the most important shopping days of the year.
It marks the beginning of the festive season, and every day in the lead up to Christmas holds more weight than other shopping days of the year. Around the festive period, shoppers spend an average of £80bn-plus with retailers.
As a merchant, this time of year is an excellent opportunity to maximise your sales. Whether your primary focus is B2C or B2B, you can get involved in the buzz of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the lead up to the festive season by giving yourself the tools to excite customers and handle demand. Here, we've pulled together some handy tips for how to nail your Black Friday sales and make the most of the festive shopping season.
Payment flexibility is key
When it comes to items for Christmas, the desire people have to buy for loved ones increases. Consequently, they’re more encouraged to spend more – if they have the means to do so.
One way shoppers can do this is by using alternative payment methods that let them pay for the cost of items over installments. Which is why merchants need to equip themselves with a flexible payment process ready to meet customer demand.
A staggering £39.4bn's worth of shopping was abandoned in online baskets in 2020. This is where alternative payment options – like buy now, pay later (BNPL) – show their strength, as they remove friction and help shoppers avoid barriers in the checkout process.
Ensuring a fast and efficient checkout is one thing, but giving people more ways to pay can be the difference between completing a purchase and leaving it in an online shopping basket. Fifty-four per cent of Brits have already used BNPL, and many prefer it as their primary payment method.
Meeting customer demand head-on during the festive season, from Black Friday through to the January sales, is vital for any merchants that want to make the most out of this unique time of year.
Social media is becoming increasingly important for brands to share their message. Yet, too many shy away from using it as an effective tool and instead focus on the parts of the business they know best. Using social media in the festive season, however, can be helpful and provide lead generation, brand development and customer service.
Tell the world about your Black Friday promotions and get people pumped up for Christmas via social platforms, be it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. If you're not comfortable using the platforms, spend some time social listening to get an idea about how to reach the right audiences.
Even if you don't have a high follower account, social media can be an effective method for creating awareness with customers. Through social listening, looking at competitor accounts and using paid ads, you can drive customers to your website to take advantage of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and get them ready for some festive shopping.
Retailers can expect website traffic to increase significantly during the last few months of the year. Therefore, your site needs to handle the extra demand brought on by an uptick in shoppers. There's nothing more frustrating than website volume increasing but customers dropping off because the site can't handle usage.
Run tests on your website to ensure it won't become overwhelmed with demand, and pick your partners wisely. For example, working with a retail finance provider that seamlessly integrates into your setup without disrupting performance can help keep traffic flowing while giving customers increased payment options.
The aim is to get high conversion rates and not high bounce rates. A speedy website running without a hitch will help you do just that, giving customers a fluid shopping experience during one of the most crucial shopping times of the year.
Optimise landing pages
During Black Friday, shoppers are actively looking for deals and ways to save money. And by creating unique landing pages devised to drive traffic to your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, you can provide a tailored experience designed around the festive season.
Black Friday-specific landing pages will help you get organic traffic from people searching for offers. Plus, it'll match the intent of shoppers more than generic pages that could be used at any time of the year.
You don’t need to stop with Black Friday, though. Using unique landing pages throughout Christmas and during the January sales will help tailor the customer’s shopping experience.
Don’t just limit this approach to landing pages, either. Use specific targeting throughout all your communications – from social media to email newsletters – for better results. Custom-designed marketing outreach focusing specifically on the festive season will strike a chord with shoppers.
Go big on emails
Speaking of emails… there really isn't a better time of year to craft email campaigns. It's perhaps the only season where customers are more aware of their inboxes, looking out for offers that could entice them to purchase products and services.
Around 59% of people say that email marketing influences their decisions, especially during Black Friday. Use this to your advantage and nurture leads with relevant content about Black Friday and Cyber Monday through email marketing that nudges them towards a purchase.
You can then retarget them throughout the festive season, offering deals and other relevant information with personalised emails to encourage them to shop with you.
The most important aspect of email marketing is its personalisation, so use methods like segmentation, splitting up groups and users on several variables, including browsing and purchase history, category and product type, and gender and location.
Summary: Winning Black Friday and the festive season
This is the time of year when retailers wait with excitement, and it's not long now until all systems (are) go. If you want to maximise sales this Black Friday, start thinking about how you'll approach it directly and ensure that you're ready to meet customer demand with flexible payments, a speedy website and a marketing campaign that brings pure festive joy.